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iPads w/ Amber X2!

Recently my College was lucky enough to be asked to host a Professional Learning Event for teachers across the Victorian South-West Region.

The PL was ran by a wonderful American educator by the name of Amber Kowatch, a MACUL Teacher of the Year recipient and all round iPad and technology integration guru!

It was great to have Amber out at our College and hear her story around her school districts challenges and success in providing technology to their students. It was also wonderful to listen to some of Amber’s key messages in both integrating iPad devices from scratch and using these to support teaching and learning.

Amber’s session highlighted the work that had been done in her school district, Ludington, MI,  in running and coordinating a 1:1 iPad pilot program and the massive success that came from this pilot.


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Due to the success that had come from the work of Amber and her colleagues, a 30min film was professionally produced and tells the story of Amber’s journey in detail demonstrating all of those challenges and successes that were evident before and after the journey. The trailer for this film is embedded below and can also be can be located on Amber’s “Look, I’m Learning” website. This film is a must watch for any school looking to move forward down a 1:1 path and wanting some inspiration!

Look, I’m Learning from Allyson Rockwell on Vimeo.

Also that must be mentioned is the excellent ‘FAQ‘ page that probes in to a number of questions relating to the pilot Amber was directly involved in as well as questions directly related to the use of the iPad device in education.

This session will highlight how “Look! I’m Learning!” began. It will give details as to how the iPad pilot program in Ludington, Michigan got started and the success that soon followed. It will highlight the many incredible ways that the iPad changed the classroom environment as well as showcase the bond initiative that allowed the entire community to share in its success. This session will be ideal for administrators, School Council members, and educators that are interested in hearing about how to the program started and what led to its success.

Participants watching “Look, I’m Learning!”.

Following some great discussion about what we’d just viewed and delving a bit deeper in to Amber’s journey, we then proceeded to to discuss more about the actual  ‘nuts and bolts’ of using an iPad to support learning. The great thing here was once again, with all those in attendance from a variety of settings, all had great things to contribute and put forward.

Amber covered and discussed a multitude of iPad Applications that have supported her teaching, focused on learning, and assisted her iPad pilot program to become the success it has been. A variety of the applications that were covered were;

App’s Formative Assessment…

  • eclicker
  • Socrative
  • Poll Everywhere

 App’s for Creating Tutorials (by both teachers and students)

  • Educreations
  • Showme
  • Ask3
  • ScreenChomp

App’s to Support Reading

  • A to Z App
  • RAZ Kids
    • Levelled Readers
    • Guided Reading Groups
    • App Skills
  • OverDrive

 App’s to Support Math

  • Splash Math
  • Math Series
  • Clock Master
  • Pearl Diver
You can find a list of the above and other applications that Amber and her colleagues recommend HERE.
As a group and facilitated by Amber was the concept of publishing students school work in a traditional sense versus that of a digital method. The fact that having students create digital ebooks that could be shared amongst the class, the running of a class or individual blog, and the creation of online scavenger hunts, all encouraged students to share their work with a greater audience.

This also as we know fosters a greater notion of best practice amongst our students as what they are creating will be viewed by a larger audience, hence the quality of what we as teachers see produced by the students increased.

So, in summary of what Amber spoke about, shared, and discussed… Fantastic! Hopefully we see her back in Australia in the future to once again share her knowledge with us!

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Teaching and Learning Resources #1

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Below I have attached several links which had been shared amongst the attendees of the Ulearn10 Conference last week.

Hopefully you find them extremely useful. I know i have!

http://manorlakesvicipadtrial.global2.vic.edu.au/ – Everything happening in in the world of iPads @ MLC. Here you will find student comments, app recommendations, photos and soon to be added examples of student work as well as a host of other exciting things!

http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/ – What a site! If you’re interested in using Web 2.0 in your class, this is for you!

http://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/smacdown/ – If you’re a fan of Apple. And you use an Apple Mac or iMac. And you’re looking for some fresh ideas. This is a MUST!

http://gamesined.wikispaces.com/This Wiki has been constructed by Adrian Camm, an esteemed Educator who is passionate about utilising the powers that games can have amongst our digital learners in education. If you are thinking of integrating Games Based Learning in to your classroom, this is the site for you!

http://globalmythchallenge.wikispaces.com/ – The Global Myth Chalenge. A great collaborative site in which students from various cultures can share what myths and legends are native to specific places around the globe! An excellent inquiry bask challenge for your students!

http://www.classroomchronicles.net/ – An excellent Blog create by Henrietta Miller, a fantastic teacher from Sydney. Via her Blog you will learn what it is that Henrietta has to share and offer, which is always of extreme benefit to teachers and students.

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Welcome!

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Welcome to my Blog. During my very first blog post I am pleased to discuss the greatness that was the 2010 Ulearn10 conference that was recently held in Christchurch, NZ.

It was a pleasure to be able to hear from great educational minds such as Lee Crockett, Steve Wheeler, Stephen Heppell, and Lane Clark. The philosophy on education and teaching in a digital world with digital learners was exceptional to hear.

The Breakout sessions that i took part in were also outstanding. I can honestly say that in my 8 years of teaching i have never attended a Professional Learning opportunity like this one. I learnt more in the 3 conference days that i attended than i have in quite a while. Game Based Learning (Adrian Camm), Teaching with Twitter (Steve Wheeler), Learning Spaces and Places (Stephen Heppell) and the Apple Tools Smackdown (ADE + Others), which was awesome!, all were great and wonderful learning opportunities!

The discussion around online teaching resources as well as creating PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) showcased the importance of creating and using specific online tools. I have been a Twit (what i call a Twitter user) now for a week and a half and the learning that i have achieved through this is outstanding! Get on board, i recommend it!

I will collate several of the excellent resources that i came across, and share these with you! Be sure to stay posted, as these links will keep on coming!